King County prosecutors today charged a 26-year-old rapper with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting last Wednesday of Courtney D. Taylor, 31, at the Rainier Beach Jack in the Box. The suspect is being sought by police.
Police and prosecutors allege that Troy DeShone Sanders — who performs as a rapper under the name of John Taylor — was in the fast food restaurant’s parking lot filming a rap video when Courtney Taylor approached him. The two men are alleged to have gotten into a physical fight, with some witnesses saying that the victim first grabbed Sanders’ necklace, before Sanders pulled out a handgun and fired at Courtney Taylor, court documents allege.
“The suspect then took a necklace from the victim and shot him once more as he was on the ground,” investigators wrote in the document of probable cause. Taylor, a father of five, was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
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Police said that when they first arrived at the shooting scene the crowd of 50 or so witnesses and spectators confronted officers and claimed to know nothing about the shooting.
However, prosecutors say, several witnesses contacted police later and identified the alleged shooter and said he left the area in a black Mercedes-Benz. An anonymous source sent police a photo of the suspect and police found a number of music videos featuring the suspect rapping, charging documents say.
Further investigation led police to booking photos of Sanders and his identification as the owner of a black Mercedes, prosecutors allege.
Sanders is at large, and prosecutors said in court documents they will be requesting $2 million bail once he’s captured. Sanders has previously been convicted of assault and promoting prostitution.